The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has said it opposes a proposal to automatically convert same-sex civil partnerships into marriages.
A submission to the Civil Partnership Review consultation, signed by Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, said: “Now that same-sex marriage exists in law, a new issue is being raised. There are those lesbian and gay Catholics who have entered into civil partnerships in order to secure important and necessary legal rights, but who do not wish either to become married in the eyes of the state, or to have their civil partnership automatically ”˜converted’ into a marriage. To remove the legal right of these same-sex couples, who do not wish to ”˜marry’, to enter into a civil partnership would mean removing legal rights for such people in future.
“We have received representations from some lesbian and gay Catholics stating that they would not wish to enter into a same-sex marriage, and who fear that their legal rights will be removed if civil partnerships are abolished.